Five years ago, my daughter was born with two inches of curly dark hair. It has lightened up over the past few years but it has also gotten thicker and become more wavy than curly. It is almost down to her waist again, and I’ve cut off over 20 inches since she was born. This is the same child who is pictured in this post (I was accused of putting extensions in her hair for that picture… she was three!)
She is also the most tender headed child alive. I just look at her while holding a brush and she starts crying. I’ve had to use detangling spray since she was a few months old, and a couple of special brushes have helped (especially this one and this one) but she still hates having her hair brushed. I never liked that most store bought detangling sprays contain a lot of chemicals, so a few years ago, I started making my own with conditioner and water.
It works pretty well, but a few months ago, I saw post on Frugally Sustainable about what she uses on her daughter’s hair and it was brilliant so I’ve started incorporating her recipe too. She adds marshmallow root (I got mine here), which we already have on hand for making our homemade marshmallows, and the results were great.
I’ve also experimented with adding chamomile (to lighten hair) and nettle (helps hair grow) without a problem. The natural conditioner in this spray gives it a light but fresh scent and leaves hair really soft.
While my daughter still hates having her hair brushed, now she doesn’t cry or scream as long as I use one of the special brushes and the detangling spray (yet, she still loves having long hair… go figure). This detangling spray doesn’t leave hair weighed down or oily, but leaves it shiny. So you can see the results, my daughter is pictured above in the blue robe and her hair was brushed with the spray and air dried.
To make this detangling spray, I use distilled water, marshmallow root, conditioner and essential oils with optional other herbs. Any conditioner will work, but I prefer a natural one, especially for kids. Natural conditioner are more expensive, but with as little as you need for this recipe, one bottle lasts over a year for all three of my daughters.
The top natural brands that I’ve tried that smell good, work well and don’t have harmful ingredients are:
- Shea Moisture Organic Restorative Conditioner (I love all of their products and we use this cream all the time too)
- Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Conditioner (more earthy/tea tree scent but organic and works really well)
- EO Sulfate Free Coconut and Hibiscus Conditioner (least expensive and smells excellent)
- Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner (light and fresh scent)
In the picture, I used a glass spray bottle I got during a Zulily sale, but I’ve also used this spray bottle from amazon and the sprayer actually works better for this.
Detangling Spray Ingredients
- 12 ounce or larger spray bottle
- 1.5 cups distilled water
- 3 tablespoons marshmallow root
- 2 tablespoons conditioner of choice (see above)
- 10+ drops of essential oil of choice (completely optional)
How to Make Hair Detangling Spray
- Boil water and marshmallow root in a small pan.
- Reduce heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Let cool slightly and strain through a cheesecloth or very thin wire strainer.
- While still warm, pour in to bottle add conditioner and essential oils (if using) and shake until mixed.
- Store for up to 2 months (this is as long as I’ve tested).
Do you use detangling spray? Ever made your own? Share below!